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Summary of the Prime Minister's news conference March 30

30 March 2020
CEO, Elizabeth Mulholland summarizes government measures being taken in response to COVID-19 to support people living on low-incomes and those that serve them. Read the latest update from the Prime Minister's Office, March 30th.

Note the extension of 75% wage subsidy to non-profits, as well as businesses, affected by COVID-19.  This will be excellent news to community organizations that have seen their revenues drop by 30% or more due to the pandemic.

75% wage subsidy
  • Directives governments have issued have closed workplaces and affected employers and workers.
  • The federal government has a three-prong plan to help preserve jobs, support people whose employment income is affected, and to help businesses with extended credit and deferred sales taxes.
  • Today, providing more details on the up to 75% wage subsidy announced earlier for qualifying businesses:
    • Will be available to all eligible employers (businesses, nonprofits, charities) of any size
    • To qualify, businesses/organizations must have a 30% drop in revenue due to COVID-19
    • The wage subsidy will cover 75% of up to $58,700 of salary per employee (up to $847/week)
    • The subsidy will be retroactive to March 15, 2020.
  • Ministers Morneau and Ng to provide additional details on the implementation as soon as possible.
  • Priority at CRA right now will be rolling out CERB, but businesses eligible for wage subsidy can count on this money retroactively so, if possible, they should immediately hire workers that have been laid off.
  • Thanked the civil service for working around the clock to roll out these new programs.
  • Goal is to ensure everyone has money for groceries and a job to come back to.
  • Trusting businesses and organizations to do the right thing.
  • If they have the means to top up the remaining 25% of worker salaries, please do it.
  • If they can hire workers back, do it now.
  • If anyone thinks they can game this system – don’t!
  • There will be a verification system to ensure wage subsidy goes to eligible businesses and that the money flows into the businesses and salaries. 
  • This crisis calls for everyone to do their part and to act in good faith. 
  • Any business or organization that doesn’t, will face severe sanctions from the government and society. 
Armed forces
  • No province has requested military intervention, but the armed forces are gearing up and will be there to support communities in need.
  • They have a response plan and Minister Singh will release details later today.
  • Thank you to all member sf the armed forces – you are always ready to help and there for us when we need you.
  • Follow public health guidance. If you can stay home, do so. 
  • Wash your hands frequently and observe 2M distancing.
  • The government will continue to do its part to ensure Canadians have income, employers are supported, and the economy can quickly rebound.
  • The government has your back. If they need to do more, they will do more.
  • Thank you to everyone in essential jobs who are continuing to work and to take risks on our behalf.  We cannot thank you enough.
  • We will get through this by leaning on each other and by everyone doing their part.